Concerto for Orchestra Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Baltimore Symphony Orchestra • Marin Alsop
Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, one of his greatest works, was written in the United States after the composer was forced to flee Hungary during World War II. It is not only a brilliant display vehicle for each instrumental section but a work of considerable structural ingenuity that unites classical forms and sonorities with the pungency of folk rhythms and harmonies. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta explores darker moods through a score of marvellously poised symmetry. This release follows Marin Alsop’s ‘riveting’ (Gramophone) Baltimore Symphony recordings of Dvorák’s symphonies.
This has long been a popular coupling of works by Béla Bartók, but this new release rides on the crest of a wave of previous successes and will occupy a leading position amongst the competition on the quality of its recording and performance. Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have a synergy which has made their Dvorák symphonic recordings sound ‘as fresh as when Dvorák put pen to paper’ (BBC Music Magazine on the Symphonies 7 and 8, NBD 0010). Of Dvorák’s New World Symphony (8.570714) BBC Music Magazine also wrote, ‘it is rare to be able to say that a performance forces one to listen to a work anew, but this is exactly what Alsop’s reading achieves.’
Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the twelfth music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Her most recent appointment as principal conductor of the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), starting in 2012, marks another historic appointment for her. In 2005, Marin Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award.